Tech Death Thursday: Pravitas
Pravitas are bringing the jams today, and it’s meaty as fuck. Get in here for some prime grooves!
Your weekly tech support:
- Alterbeast has a new song out, and it sounds like the band is taking a bit of a new direction. It took me a couple listens to warm up to it, but I just can’t get past the image they’re going for. We’ll see how this pans out when Feast hits on February 23rd.
- In case you missed it, Xenosis has an absolute banger of a new song up right here on the Toilet. Check out “Army of Darkness” and look for Devour and Rebirth on January 19th.
- If you like your tech death to be a little more on the “death” side and like your guitar solos to have a bit of swagger to them, Apophys has a new album on the way. Two singles are up now, and the album drops on January 22nd.
Bandcamp continues to be a vast treasure trove of shiny new tech death bands to show off to you guys. This week’s dive has brought me The Synthetic Peregrination, the sophomore EP from the Leeds-based Pravitas. Though I hadn’t heard any of their first album, I was hooked almost immediately on this new one.
Pravitas’s biggest strength is their ability to cohesively work multiple disparate styles into their sound. One moment you’re getting hit with a blistering tapped harmony and the next a whirling Jeff Loomis-style riff. It’s trimmed with a healthy dose of big grooves, and damn do they groove. While it uses mid-paced pedal tone chugging as a foundation (i.e. the thing that makes deathcore sound like deathcore), the instrumental acrobatics built on them should be more than enough to alleviate any misgivings you might have about its slightly -coreish nature. It’s a solid mixture of head-bobbing syncopation and high-end shredding that captures the best of both worlds.
The performances themselves are exemplary, too. The drummer’s pocket playing is creative and intense, wasting no space without making it sound too busy. The twin guitar attack is the driving force of the music, the two of them trading mind bending leads and harmonies among the beefy riffs. Most pleasing is the lack of quantization on their parts, giving them a noticeably human feeling in spite of the digital tone. It’s not overly noise gated either, which lets their individual styles come through. The bassist, while unfortunately somewhat low in the mix, gets a few moments to shine when he takes to the higher end of his instrument. I think it’s ultimately the strength of the performances that makes this band succeed where others have failed attempting to create similar music.
My only real gripe is that it can sometimes sound a bit thin. Their songs are written with a live setting in mind, rarely incorporating more than what five musicians would be performing at any one time. At its peak, the music comes off much like Pyscroptic, full and savage despite few layers. There are moments where the mix holds it back, though; the guitars are flying high with the intention of the bass holding down the root, but it’s just too quiet to have the proper impact. I can imagine this working really well if the basslines stuck more in the instrument’s midrange, but it is what it is. It’s certainly not a deal-breaker; any time I was disappointed by a thin mix, it was wiped away almost immediately with another infectious hook.
Production nitpicks aside, I thoroughly enjoyed my time with this EP. Pravitas is a band whose members know what they’re doing; their music is equal parts style and substance, flashy without being too self-servicing. They’re tight and surprisingly organic, and their music is easy to digest while still bringing all the crazy shredding characteristics of the genre. There’s a lot to love here, and I look forward to seeing where the future takes them.
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